Rod and Sarah McKenzie came to Lund to establish a home for their family in January of 1915. In the family were Emerald, Dorothy, Vance, and John.
Roderic Due McKenzie was born in Minnesota to Wm. McKenzie and Sarah Ann Hamlin. The McKenzies were from Scotland and the Hamlins were possibly from Ireland. The "Hamlin" Piano and the beautiful songs, "Moonlight and Roses" and "You Tell Me Your Dream and I'll Tell You Mine," came from the Hamlins.
After his parents died he packed up a few belongings in a small trunk; among which was the family bible, which has been a great help in our genealogy. This was in March of 1902. He came to Salt Lake City. Here he met Sarah Mahala Vance.
Sarah was born the 15th of March 1875 in Salt Lake. Her parents were William Perkins Vance, from the South and Hannah Richardson from England.
They were married the 20th of April 1903 and came out to Ely the Ist of January 1906. Here he worked for the Ely Meat Co. and then started a dairy and built a home out in the area of MillStreet. Here Vance was born. Rod then moved his dairy out near where the Fairgrounds are now. He pastured and milked his cows out on Ward Mountain. They delivered their milk, and also eggs, with a buggy and team around the area and up to Ruth. John was born during this time.
Rod built several homes in Ely, and also the old Post Office. He left many land marks.
Sarah helped with all she could, even with the deliveries. She cooked for many men who were working on the train that came into Ely in September of 1906. She was sustained as the first Relief Society President in Ely the 12th of February 1912. And here in Relief Society, Grandma Vance taught everyone the art of quilt making.
Sarah came to Lund in November of 1900 to help and cook for her brothers who had bought land here. They lived in a grainery in the north end of town. She only stayed about three months, but did spend Christmas here and enjoyed the dances with the Oxborrow orchestra.
After obtaining land in Lund, Rod dug a 45 foot well on a high piece of ground safe from drainage, and then started building their home. During this time they lived with Grandma Vance and in two tents they had put up on her lot. In the cabin-like building at the back, Sarah operated an Ice Cream Parlor with the help of Emerald and Dorothy. They did this for two summers on Sundays and had ice cream, dressings, nuts, and all the trimmings.
Rod built a creamery up by his well. Later he moved it down near the house for a garage, where it is still in use. He pumped water with a one cylinder gas engine. He also put up a windmill on a wood frame, the first in town. The windmill is still there but on a metal frame. Healso ran two huge churns on the gas engine to make butter to send to Ely. So his dairying just continued on down here. Later he built his barn, chicken coops, and other buildings.
He built a lovely big cement home on the hill. It had hot and cold running water, and electricity from a Delco plant. Here, after they were moved in, June was born.
Rod operated the community flour mill for many years, which was built by Hendrix, Riordan, and John Whipple. He also helped in many ways with the Preston Creamery. One of the big churns was moved over there, and is now in Neil's Museum. For many years he operated the Lund-Preston-Ely Stage, Milk and Mail Route with the help of his boys. He also owned a small twenty-acre farm near town.
His carpentry and cabinet making went on constantly and was truly an art. A talent which John inherited. The homes he built and other landmarks are still in use by Vance's family.
He was always busy in civic affairs, and was a school trustee, and a Justice of the Peace for many years. They also boarded school teachers from time to time. They all worked in the Church and Rod was in the Sunday School Superintendency. They had a busy, happy life; and their home, yards, and garden were always a place of beauty.
They moved to Ely in 1934 where he and George Oxborrow engaged in mining and trucking at Taylor until 1939. During this time he built a lovely little home for them in Central Ely, as well as homes for the children.
In 1943, they moved to Overton where he bought a home in hopes his health would improve. They were only able to enjoy this new home, location, and friends for about a year; he then passed on the 12th of May 1944.
Sarah came back to Lund and lived in the little house he had built where she kept busy and happy with her memories, family, friends, and the church. She boarded a school teacher for a few years who she greatly enjoyed. We enjoyed having her near and especially our children loved a grandma next door. After five good years, her health failed and she died the 29th of December 1949.
Emerald was born the 24th of June 1899 in Pine Valley, Utah. She was married the 9th of April 1919 to Neil L. Gardner. They had three sons: Neil II, Mac, and Hilton. They all served in the Armed Forces and now have their own families with Neil settling in Lund as a farmer and Mac and Hilton in California. Emerald lives in California City and still leads a full, busy life and her visits to Lund have been enjoyed by all.
Dorothy was born the 29th of May 1907 at Ely. She married James Russel Hettinger the 25th of August 1926. They lived in Colorado, Ely, and then settled in Fallon. They had four children; Willa, James, Robert, and Dan. Russell passed away the 7th of February 1952. Dorothy continued on in Fallon as a wonderful mother and grandmother. In spite of many sorrows, she has lived close to her church and her Heavenly Father. Willa lived in Fallon and died of cancer when her family was just partly raised. Bob and his family, and Dan are in Fallon. Jim and his family are in Ohio.
Vance was born the 19th of May 1912. He married Sara Gardner the 1st of June 1932. They have five children: Jerry, Phyllis, Roderick, Donald, and Kenneth. They are all married and have children.
Jerry, Rod, and Ken's families live in Lund. Bob, Jerry's husband, teaches in our grade school. Rod owns a Dairy Farm and Ken teaches here in the high school. Phyllis' family lives in Elko where she teaches some in their community college. Donald, in Carson City, has made a career in the National Guard. Vance still enjoys farming.
John was born the 27th of May 1914 and married Fay Ashby the 14th of August 1935. They lived in Ely, and in Utah, and then returned again to Ely. They have five children; Gwena, Roy, Linda, John, and Ann Alise. Linda passed away while young. The others are married and living in Reno, Idaho, and California. The boys were in the service. Roy, in the Army, stationed in Formosa. John was in the Navy in the submarine division in the Pacific. John and Fay keep very busy and happy with their laundry, their granchildren, and their hobbies.
June was born the 17th of June 1918 at Lund. She married Woodrow Ashby on the 14th of August 1935 at a double wedding also uniting John McKenzie and Faye Ashby. June and Woody have four children. They are in order of birth: Cleone, Pearl, Roger and Robert. Cleoneis married to Dennis Vargo and they reside at Incline Village, Lake Tahoe, Nevada. She is employed by a travel agency at Lake Tahoe. Pearl is married to Ralph Shreve and they reside in Sparks, Nevada. She is employed as a secretary for Sparks High School. Roger, the oldest son, also resides in Sparks, Nevada and is married to the former Shari Stefan. He is now employed as an officer with First National Bank of Nevada. Robert resides at home and is employed as a welder for Pioneer Equipment. June is a cashier at Washoe Medical Center in Reno. Woody is office manager for Meadow Gold Dairy also in Reno.
Written and submitted by:
Sara Gardner McKenzie